It Takes a Village: Holiday Injury Resources
As we head into the holidays, most families are trimming their trees, hanging lights, and filling out their holiday shopping lists. However, if you or your loved one are suffering from an injury this season, the holidays may look vastly different than in years past. It is difficult to decorate with a broken bone, remember who need gets holiday cards with a concussion, and feel excitement and wonder with constant pain. It is even more difficult when you cannot work because of an injury, or your normal holiday cash is needed for additional medical care.
However, our communities come together in times of need, especially during the holidays. There may be resources available to you in your community to assist you at this difficult time.
Injured people deserve access to good medical treatment. Unfortunately, when injured, even when someone else caused that injury, your medical bills will not go away on their own. Liability carriers will not pay your medical bills until you agree to settle your case with them. They use your need to cover the cost of medical care as leverage against you, which causes many injured people to settle their case too soon and for less than the full value of their case. If you have health insurance, make sure your bills are being sent to your health insurance carrier. Some medical providers will initially refuse to send bills to their patient’s health insurance, hoping to get paid more out of medpay or liability coverage. However, you deserve the value of your health insurance and depending in which state you live, the medical providers may be required to bill health insurance timely or write-off the bill. An attorney can help you understand your rights regarding health insurance.
If you do not have health insurance, there may be providers available who are willing to provide medical care without upfront costs, instead getting paid out of the settlement. These medical providers may be able to provide assistance, typically by asserting a lien on the settlement, depending on various factors such as whether the insurance available or whether the insurance accepts fault.
You may be eligible for Medicaid in your state, depending on where you live. Medicaid is a joint state and federal program which provides health insurance based on income and other eligibility rules. States without Medicaid expansion may require you to first file for or be approved for Social Security Disability before you can file for Medicaid.
Housing & Utilities
If you lost work or wages due to an injury, you may fear being evicted from your home. While shelters are available as short-term solutions, you may be eligible for public housing. Because applicants for public assistance housing, often referred to as Section 8, have to wait to be provided accommodations until an opening is available, you should check to determine your eligibility and the requirements in your area as soon as you can. You do not have to wait until you receive an actual eviction notice.
Local utility organizations often offer charitable aid programs to assist low income residents with utility needs. Additionally, your state’s social services agency may have programs available to assist residents who are facing an energy crisis.
Many people facing serious injury may become food insecure. Food banks offer short term solutions for those facing food insecurity. Local houses of worship often also aid individual with critical need of food. You may also be eligible for food stamps. Contact your local social services agency for more information on eligibility.
At Brown & Crouppen, we understand that our clients and their families face unique challenges during the holiday season due to their injuries. Let us be a part of your village and serve as a resource to you and your family.